slow

adjective
\ ˈslō How to pronounce slow (audio) \

Definition of slow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : mentally dull : stupid a slow student
b : naturally inert or sluggish
2a : lacking in readiness, promptness, or willingness
b : not hasty or precipitate was slow to anger
3a : moving, flowing, or proceeding without speed or at less than usual speed traffic was slow
b : exhibiting or marked by low speed he moved with slow deliberation
c : not acute a slow disease
d : low, gentle slow fire
4 : requiring a long time : gradual a slow recovery
5 : having qualities that hinder rapid progress or action a slow track
6a : registering behind or below what is correct the clock is slow
b : less than the time indicated by another method of reckoning
c : that is behind the time at a specified time or place
7a : lacking in life, animation, or gaiety : boring the first chapter is a bit slow
b : marked by reduced activity business was slow a slow news week

slow

adverb

Definition of slow (Entry 2 of 3)

: slowly

slow

verb
slowed; slowing; slows

Definition of slow (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make slow or slower : slacken the speed of slow a car often used with down or up

intransitive verb

: to go or become slower production of new cars slowed sharply

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Other Words from slow

Adjective

slowish \ ˈslō-​ish How to pronounce slow (audio) \ adjective
slowness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for slow

Verb

delay, retard, slow, slacken, detain mean to cause to be late or behind in movement or progress. delay implies a holding back, usually by interference, from completion or arrival. bad weather delayed our arrival retard suggests reduction of speed without actual stopping. language barriers retarded their progress slow and slacken also imply a reduction of speed, slow often suggesting deliberate intention medication slowed the patient's heart rate , slacken an easing up or relaxing of power or effort. on hot days runners slacken their pace detain implies a holding back beyond a reasonable or appointed time. unexpected business had detained her

Slow vs. Slowly: Usage Guide

Adverb

Some commentators claim that careful writers avoid the adverb slow, in spite of the fact that it has had over four centuries of usage. have a continent forbearance till the speed of his rage goes slower — William Shakespeare In actual practice, slow and slowly are not used in quite the same way. Slow is almost always used with verbs that denote movement or action, and it regularly follows the verb it modifies. beans … are best cooked long and slow — Louise Prothro Slowly is used before the verb a sense of outrage, which slowly changed to shame — Paul Horgan and with participial adjectives. a slowly dawning awareness … of the problem Amer. Labor Slowly is used after verbs where slow might also be used burn slow or slowly and after verbs where slow would be unidiomatic. the leadership turned slowly toward bombing as a means of striking back — David Halberstam

Examples of slow in a Sentence

Adjective The buyers were slow to act, and the house was sold to someone else. He was a quiet boy who seldom spoke, and some people thought he was a little slow. Business is slow during the summer. The first few chapters are slow, but after that it gets better. Adverb My computer is working slow. you need to go slow with this experiment, or you'll make mistakes Verb The car slowed and gradually came to a stop. The extra weight slowed the truck.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Ward said that while critics have suggested companies were slow to respond, the public has not historically expected companies to focus on voting access. Author: Hannah Denham, Jena Mcgregor, Anchorage Daily News, "HP, Dow, Under Armour among nearly 200 companies speaking out against voting law changes in Texas, other states," 3 Apr. 2021 The coronavirus was supposed to be slow to change shape. New York Times, "Virus Variants Threaten to Draw Out the Pandemic, Scientists Say," 3 Apr. 2021 Ward said that while critics have suggested companies were slow to respond, the public has not historically expected companies to focus on voting access. Washington Post, "HP, Dow, Under Armour among nearly 200 companies speaking out against voting law changes in Texas, other states," 2 Apr. 2021 Some of the vaccine appointment websites have been slow to update when eligibility changes. Los Angeles Times, "So you’re eligible for the vaccine. Here’s how to get one," 1 Apr. 2021 With just a few days to go before the consolidated election April 6, officials in the Aurora area say the turnout of early voters has been slow. David Sharos, chicagotribune.com, "Officials say early voting numbers ‘disappointing’ so far in Aurora area for April 6 election," 1 Apr. 2021 Indeed, the dosing debate raises difficult questions about whether some governments and their scientific advisers—for instance in the European Union, where vaccination campaigns are painfully slow—are being too risk averse. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Lessons From the Calculated Risk Behind U.K.’s Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout," 1 Apr. 2021 Nearly 900 reproductive health clinics nationwide lost funding as a result, and Public Health Solutions almost closed the clinics in August 2019 when the state was slow to release the emergency funds. NBC News, "Generations of families go to these New York health clinics. Now they may close for good.," 1 Apr. 2021 West is a terrific facilitator and shooter who can help facilitate U of L's half-court offense, which often was slow and labored during the recent 13-7 (8-5 ACC) season. Shannon Russell, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball picks up commitment from Marshall guard Jarrod West," 31 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Historically, indigenous communities used the tree for food and timber, but small-scale harvesting of this slow-growing palm didn't threaten its survival. CNN, "This palm tree nearly went extinct. Now its super-berries are helping to save it," 30 Mar. 2021 For much of its history, the company was a good, but slow-growing, commodities company that built its revenue by finding new customers, securing reliable suppliers and expanding its distribution network. Patrick Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Roseville chemicals firm Hawkins is suddenly a darling with investors," 14 Mar. 2021 With more and more dollars needed to move the needle, the result has been an industry rife with slow-growing top lines and valuations stuck in neutral. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Pharma Giants Get Their Pennies Pinched on Drug Pricing," 12 Mar. 2021 Over the years, National Day of Unplugging was a loosely organized and slow-growing grassroots movement that attracted nearly 112,000 followers worldwide. San Diego Union-Tribune, "La Mesa resident behind launch of new National Unplugging Day on Saturday," 4 Mar. 2021 All else being equal, fast growing economies tend to have higher long-term interest rates than slow-growing economies. Larry Light, Forbes, "Will The U.S. End Up Like Japan?," 24 Feb. 2021 The slow-growing lichen and mushrooms upon which the reindeer depend for their survival are not found in pine or spruce plantations, so the death of one means the death of the other, and an uncertain future for an entire people. New York Times, "Wintry Scenes From a Swedish Wonderland," 21 Dec. 2020 This is down to the long-standing desire of conifer connoisseurs to discover branch mutations and from them propagate slow-growing versions known as dwarf conifers. Washington Post, "Winter wonders: Conifers revive the sleeping garden. But remember, less is more.," 2 Dec. 2020 The ‘Mikawa Yatsubusa’ variety is a true dwarf and is slow-growing to 5 feet tall. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "Japanese maples are small trees that make a big impact," 30 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sukin Law Group has helped negotiate some of the largest sales in music publishing — including Universal Music Group’s $2.2 billion acquisition of Bertelsmann/BMG Music in 2006 — and the coronavirus did not slow it down. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Revealed: Billboard's 2021 Top Music Lawyers," 5 Apr. 2021 Statistically, the city is on track to experience 100 homicides if the pace does not slow in the remainder of the year. oregonlive, "Every Portland city commissioner opposes mayor’s $2 million police-focused plan to address gun violence," 1 Apr. 2021 The report also found that those companies did not slow their practice of booking profits in low-tax havens like Bermuda. Jim Tankersley And Emily Cochrane New York Times, Star Tribune, "Under Biden, Democrats poised to raise taxes on businesses and the rich," 27 Mar. 2021 The report also found that those companies did not slow their practice of booking profits in low-tax havens like Bermuda. New York Times, "Under Biden, Democrats Are Poised to Raise Taxes on Business and the Rich," 27 Mar. 2021 After videos and photos depicted large groups gathering in downtown Indianapolis last weekend, many not wearing masks or social distancing, the local health department is urging people to follow protocols to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, "What March Madness looks like on college campuses during the pandemic," 27 Mar. 2021 National data, from U.S. Census estimates, shows online buying hit new heights in 2020 and did not slow down even when restrictions were lifted. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego’s economy was rocked in ’20. But could it have been worse?," 20 Mar. 2021 Businesses must recognize that the future of SaaS will not slow down. Gordian Braun, Forbes, "The Past, Present And Future Of SaaS," 1 Mar. 2021 Steady rain and crippling food poisoning could not slow down Woods. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Tiger Woods’ presence still felt at Bay Hill despite absence from API," 28 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of slow

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1557, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for slow

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English slāw; akin to Old High German slēo dull

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Time Traveler for slow

Time Traveler

The first known use of slow was before the 12th century

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Statistics for slow

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slow. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for slow

slow

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of slow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not moving quickly : not able to move quickly
: not happening quickly : taking more time than is expected or wanted
: not operating quickly

slow

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of slow (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a slow way or at a low speed

slow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of slow (Entry 3 of 3)

: to begin to move at a lower speed
: to make (something, such as a car) move at a lower speed
: to become slower

slow

adjective
\ ˈslō How to pronounce slow (audio) \
slower; slowest

Kids Definition of slow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : moving, flowing, or going at less than the usual speed slow music Traffic was slow.
2 : taking more time than is expected or desired We had a slow start on the project.
3 : not as smart or as quick to understand as most people
4 : not active Business was slow.
5 : indicating less than is correct My watch is five minutes slow.
6 : not easily aroused or excited Grandmother is slow to anger.

Other Words from slow

slowly adverb
slowness noun

slow

verb
slowed; slowing

Kids Definition of slow (Entry 2 of 3)

: to go or make go less than the usual speed The car slowed around the corner. The heavy load slowed the wagon.

slow

adverb
slower; slowest

Kids Definition of slow (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a slow way Can you talk slower?

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More from Merriam-Webster on slow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slow

Nglish: Translation of slow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on slow

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